By WO2 Peter MacGregor
On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of February the sound of Bagpipes, Drums and Bugles was once again present at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh as the 2019 Army Piping and Drumming Championships took place at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming’s home of Inchdrewer House.
Solo events that would decide the holders of the much coveted titles of Army Champion Piper and Drummer took place on Saturday with personal and regimental pride at stake. The senior staff at the school remained tight lipped overnight with competitors being kept unaware of the prize lists until Sunday afternoon. Proceedings culminated in multi-instrumentalist and mini-band contests in March, Strathspey and Reel, and Medley disciplines, followed by the prize giving ceremony.
Adjudication was provided by a panel of independent expert judges, who worked throughout the day to decide the placings across no less than 20 events. A strong representation from the Army, the Army reserve, and the Scottish Universities Officer Training Corps competed over the weekend with entries noticeably increased from previous years.
At the conclusion of the weekend’s competitions, the winners of the major events were as follows:
Army Champion Pipe Band 2020: The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Army Champion Piper 2020: PMaj Ben Duncan, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Army Champion Drummer 2020: LCpl Will Crawford, Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Open Drumming winner: DMaj Callum Marr, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Senior Light Music winner: OCdt Hutcheon, Aberdeen University Officer Training Corps
Senior Piobaireachd winner: WO2 MacKenzie, Royal Corps of Signals
The Director of Army Bagpipe Music and his staff would like to thank the Piobaireachd Society, who set the conditions for the school to exist and thrive over a hundred years ago, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Army Piping Committee for their financial support of the competitions, without which these events would not be possible. Next year’s Army Piping and Drumming Championships will be held on the weekend of 20-21 February 2021.
If you would like a rewarding and fulfilling career as an Army piper or drummer, please get in touch with the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming on our Facebook page, or by telephone on 0131 310 5561. We welcome applications from commonwealth citizens and those with permanent residency in the United Kingdom regardless of gender.